The hybridcasual game genre has recently emerged in the mobile gaming market and has become the new hit for game makers and players. At Homa alone, there has been a 700 percent increase in hybridcasual downloads from Q4 2021 to Q3 2022, reaching 66 million downloads. In this article, the company talks about the secrets of the hybridcasual genre.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to breaking into hybridcasual games. Success in this field often depends on innovative game design, engaging gameplay, and effective marketing. However, some general tips that may be helpful for aspiring game developers can be outlined. Let’s unveil them in this article.
Side note: Rebranding Homa Games.
What are Hybridcasual games?
Firstly, let’s go back to the definition of the genre. We can think of Hybridcasual games as mobile games with hypercasual core game loops and simple mechanics, which are expanded and amplified with features and monetization models of casual / mid-core games.
Retaining the positive instant action, snackable essence of a hypercasual while offering more profound and complex player upgrades and progression systems.
These create longer-term motivation, increased retention, and player progression.
They drive higher baseline lifetime value through «In-App Purchases» alongside «Ad-based monetization» methods.
Tip 1: Create engaging and intuitive gameplay
One of the critical elements of a successful hybridcasual game is simple and intuitive gameplay. This means designing game mechanics that are hypercasual at the core & easy to learn. The simple essence of Hybridcasual games helps to unlock the mass-market reach. Try finding a mainstream theme for your game, keep instructions to a minimum, add more images and icons instead of phrases, and don’t overcomplicate the economy by quickly bringing new elements into the game. Ensure your gameplay is understood within the first few seconds.
Tip 2: Add more meta and features to your core loop
The difference from a classic hypercasual game comes with the depth of the content that brings higher user retention. To create a successful hybridcasual game, think about the long-term motivation since the ideation phase. It means observing the reaction of players, testing different features and mechanics, and implementing more meta content to your loop.
Try adding a storyline, connecting a cast of characters that takes the player on a journey. Consider using the collection meta attached to bonuses and rare abilities or skins. Provide users with the ability to decorate, customize or build their environments. Finally, incorporate character upgrades connected to the gameplay experience or simple cosmetic enhancements.
Be careful, make the proposed content simple, stick to the easy decision-making inside the game, and ensure the players return to engaging gameplay.
Tip 3: Master monetization through strengthening IAP
Hybridcasual games focus largely on IAPs, compared to hypercasual games. Game creators should think about the game economy and meta, enabling them to scale the games and provide more opportunities for in-app purchases. Think through the game resources: how many and what type of currencies to integrate, how much value they bring to the game progression, and how to make them visually attractive?
Ideally, the IAPs should yield 30% of the LTV at minimum. How can you break down particular roadmap aspects in your development pipelines? Here at Homa, we value this, and as a publisher, we’ll have templates and pre-built assets to help you implement these into your games.
Tip 4: Engage users in the longer term
Hybridcasual games are engaging in the long run: this requires a broader vision of your game and post-launch optimizations. Think about what happens in your game at levels 10, 25, and 50 — can your features be baked into the core game design to ensure interest is kept and add layers of depth to the experience?
When will the player see new elements of your game, new content, or an upgrade? Are they engaged enough to reach those moments? Again, be aware of the scope of limitations at this stage to understand the success or not.
Cluster the audiences, and test meta and adaptive economies. Finally, optimize the content according to the feedback and reaction of players. You will see how this primarily impacts the global LTV.
You could also try implementing the IP characters & interoperable game assets to create a more exciting experience. At Homa, we also thought about that option and started building on the IP portfolio and the web 3 tech stack to help you focus on the game rather than the tech.
A secret sauce?
Ultimately, the key to success in the hybridcasual game genre is to create a unique and engaging game that players will love. Then, with the right combination of game design, gameplay, and marketing, you can break into this exciting and competitive market.
Implement a broader vision of your game since the ideation. Add the game design elements that could layer into your snackable game and spark interest and engagement. Enhance the marketability by sticking to the hypercasual mainstream appeal and simplicity of the gameplay.
Moreover, if you already think you have a hybricasual game concept that you would like to pitch — head over to Homa’s website and submit your ideas! We are currently strengthening our expertise in the genre to provide the best resources for you to master hybridcasual games.